Sarasota, Fl – The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) is entering its 19th season and offers a diverse selection of narrative, documentary, and short independent films. With more than 200 films being shown from March 31 through April 9th, organizers say there’s something for everyone.

The opening night film is Take Every Wave. It’s a documentary about big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Director Rory Kennedy will be attending the screening.

The closing night film is Paris Can Wait starring Alec Baldwin and Diane Lane and Lane will be in attendance.

MovieMaker Magazine named SFF one of the “coolest” festivals in the world and we’re fortunate to have it in our own backyard. It’s a chance to not only see independent films, but to also discuss them.

“These days anyone can see any film through any channel,” explains SFF Associate Director Jedediah Shoemaker. “With a film festival…you have Q and A’s-- you have the filmmakers there; you can interact with them and ask them questions about the process.”

The SFF also connects with the community and takes on issues of concern. This year a group of military veterans learned filmmaking skills from industry professionals and they have produced a documentary on the Veterans Treatment Court in Sarasota. “We had veterans filming stories about veterans,” explains SFF’s Shakira Refos. The documentary Returning will be screened on Tuesday, April 4th.